What Makes Chef Pía León's Restaurant Kjolle So Unique

Virgilio Martínez and Pía León's breakthrough South American restaurant Central has garnered worldwide acclaim, like the continent's top restaurant and the fourth best in the world, according to 50Best. A showcase of their native Peru's dazzling biodiversity, 230 ingredients are served in conjunction with the altitude of their origin. Featuring dishes like piranha and yucca from the Amazon, or underappreciated ingredients like cushuro, a cyanobacterium that resembles caviar, Central's food dazzles, reports Time.

Bringing such exceptional ingredients to light is done in conjunction with Mater Iniciativa, an interdisciplinary organization run by the two chefs and Martínez's sister Malena. Anthropologists, biologists, linguists, and other researchers gather data on the complexity of Peru's culture and history. The knowledge translates into culinary experimentation, and once ingredients are chosen for the restaurant, sustainable supply chains are set in place, via Eater.

Such an initiative is the backbone of the husband and wife's incredible work, which has long been mostly accredited to Chef Martínez. With the opening of Kjolle, located right above Central in Lima, Chef León has opened a unique restaurant built upon her vision.

Kjolle showcases the seasonality of Peruvian cuisine through Pía León's culinary voice

Unlike conceptual Central, Kjolle isn't tied to boundaries by altitude or set tasting menus. Pía León's mission is to serve simpler, seasonal fare, highlighting Peruvian produce from across the country. Few dishes use more than four ingredients, and she's designed the environs for a more casual experience — no tablecloths, and a warm, wood-accented space. While more casual, the food is still designed to be informative, revealing the revelatory complexity of Peruvian cuisine, per 50Best.

Her spontaneous and creative approach to food is on show with a tuber dish continually on the menu. Colorful slices of yucca and olluco adorn a kiniwa (cousin of quinia) tart, filled with creamy goat cheese and potato. The unique dish is a perennial hit, according to flavourways. Acclaim has flooded since Kjolle's opening, including the title World's Best Female Chef for León. With an attention to detail that extends to Peruvian dishware, León's restaurant is a must-visit for gastronomic fans, per 50best.